American Jazz Museum

The American Jazz Museum showcases the sights and sounds of a uniquely American art form.

About Us

Located in the Historic 18th & Vine Jazz District, the American Jazz Museum showcases the sights and sounds of a uniquely American art form through interactive exhibits and films, the Changing Gallery, the Blue Room jazz club and the Gem Theater, a 500-seat performing arts center. Thousands of visitors come here annually to enjoy education and community-based programs, traveling exhibits, over 200 live musical performances and other special events.

After nearly a decade of planning & execution of an 18th & Vine redevelopment initiative, led by the efforts of Congressman and former Kansas City Mayor Emanuel Cleaver II and the City of Kansas City, MO, the American Jazz Museum opened to the public in September 1997. Since its opening, the American Jazz Museum has hosted thousands of world-class jazz performances in its Blue Room jazz club and Gem Theater; displayed dozens of compelling exhibitions in its Changing Gallery, presented countless education programs and community events and nurtured a unique artifact & film collection.

The American Jazz Museum has also provided comprehensive community service by:

  • Educating our visitors and program participants about the historic and cultural relevance of jazz music and the arts;
  • Heightening awareness of the Historic 18th & Vine Jazz District;
  • Challenging the community to be active and engaged citizens through high quality performances, programs and exhibitions;
  • Providing economic and civic leadership as an anchor for other venues & businesses;
  • Creating research opportunities for academic scholars;
  • Cultivating future artists and audiences

Through its eclectic programs, services and partnerships, the American Jazz Museum has also touched a variety of communities, including:

  • Schools and universities, including children pre-K through college, teachers and administrators in Missouri and Kansas;
  • Professional educators in music and the visual arts;
  • Adults and seniors, including persons with disabilities;
  • Artists: jazz, visual and beyond;
  • Entrepreneurs and small business owners, corporations and visitors to Kansas City
Our constituency is diverse, serving rural and urban, cultural and ethnic communities in the Midwest, across the country and globally. Through its exhibitions, collections, educational programs and performances, the American Jazz Museum has helped forge collaboration between the community-oriented, not-for-profit and corporate worlds to promote events and programs that are emblematic of Kansas City's heritage, history and culture.